Kylie Jenner and I lead very different lives. Unlike Kylie, I rarely take selfies, just learned how to use Snapchat, have never colored my hair or worn fake nails before, and generally don't wear makeup. Oh, I'm also not a celebrity, nor do I have my own website/app.
But I am fascinated by Kylie's beauty routine, style, and enormous presence on social media (Kylie is the eighth most-followed person on Instagram and she's only 18). It might seem like Kylie's days are full of relaxing by the pool and playing with her pups, but don't be fooled by her luxurious Instagram photos. Homegirl is busy. I know this because I tried Kylie's beauty routine, outfits, and lifestyle for a week and I was pretty drained by the end.
Day 1: Beauty Prep
Before I really began the week, I needed to devise my beauty plan. I knew it was going to be intense since half of Kylie's allure comes from her ever-changing hair and makeup looks. So I recruited my own glam team and went through an elaborate process to become like Kylie.
1. Nails: I took a trip down to Valley Nails in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood to get some Kylie-esque nail extensions. I showed the nail artist a picture of one of Kylie's most recent styles—very long and squared off in a grayish color (I used Smith and Cult in "Stockholm Syndrome")—and voilà! Kylie nails. Because they were extensions and not acrylic, the nail artist didn't have to file down my natural nails, and the process was pretty pain-free. The whole thing took about an hour, which is a tad longer than it takes me to paint my nails on my couch (my normal nail routine).
2. Tan: I invited Kristyn Pradas, who spray-tans the Angels for the Victoria's Secret fashion show, over to my humble apartment for an application of faux glow. I went full Kylie with the home visit because Kylie would probably never leave the comfort of her own home for a spray tan—she's not a regular person, after all.
3. Makeup: I researched Kylie's favorite products and incorporated them into my Kylie glam process. She's known to be good at applying makeup and often does her own, so I took on the challenge of doing the same.
I embarked on a weeklong makeup journey: Each day, I incorporated actual products Kylie uses or recommends (listed below) into my routine and took tips from the makeup tutorials Kylie posted on her new site. It would take me almost an hour each day to complete my makeup—a big change for someone who doesn't even wear concealer most days.
Although Kylie has credited lip injections for making her lips look so full, I decided this week would be one where "Kylie" did not have a lip filler appointment scheduled. I instead stuck to her lip liner tricks and the magic of makeup to make my pout appear slightly plumper.
4. Hair: Kylie loves wigs, and that is an understatement. I decided I needed more than one wig to pass as Kylie, who is arguably the hardest of the Kardashian/Jenner clan to keep up with due to how often she switches up her look. To start, I chose a short, black, layered wig that is very O.G. Kylie and still a regular style for her.
With all that settled, I was ready for my first photo op. I slipped into Kylie's private jet travel outfit—crop top and drawstring pants, complete with lace-up heels. Even though my entire midriff was in the breeze, this look was probably the most comfortable of the week. Sweatpants disguised as real pants for the win.
Day 2: Athleisure + Popeyes
I whipped out the blonde wig and scared everyone in the office because no one could recognize me. After that experience, I now understand why Kylie switches up her hair so often. It's kind of fun to see people's reactions to your new look, good or bad (but more on that to come). I also noticed that people treated me a little differently as a blonde. I don't think that blondes have more fun necessarily, but they do have more doors opened for them. Like, literally, more people offered to open the door for me, which was strange.
Since Kylie can pull off sports bras, leggings, and tracksuits better than actual athletes can, I decided my next look would be Kylie's signature athleisure style. I also got the waist trainer that both Kylie and Khloé promote on Instagram to finish off the first look of the day.
Pictured: Me wearing Kylie's waist trainer. Not pictured: The two people it took to help me get the thing on, because my waist is not trained. I darkened the photo and added a million filters so it would look dark and mysterious like Kylie's Insta photos tend to look.
Some notes about the waist trainer: It gave me all kinds of feelings. I've never had a tiny waist or shapely hips before, so that part was fun to see. However, I was holding my breath for the 15 minutes I had it on, and that part was not so fun. I will say, though, that if you thought Kylie Photoshopped her waist trainer photos to make her body more hourglass-like, you were wrong. Waist trainers—no joke—give you a cartoonish Jessica Rabbit figure.
I then changed into a tracksuit with some matching sneakers and headed to Starbucks. I have no idea if Kylie likes Starbucks or drinks coffee, but Brooke does and she was tired. I personally would never walk down the street in a sports bra even if I were on my way to the gym, so this look was pretty bold for me. My outfit was jarringly different than the suits and pencil skirts everyone else was wearing for their morning coffee run. I was glad to have the jacket to cover myself when I felt like people were staring, which they did, a lot. I couldn't tell if they were looking at me because I was wearing a bra or because they were trying to figure out who I was. Either way, it was a little uncomfortable, and I thought about how strange it must feel to be famous, and have people stare at you all the time and take pictures without asking.
Then, I took a trip to Popeyes for lunch. Kylie has posted many a photo of herself eating Popeyes fried chicken on a private jet, so I jumped on the opportunity to copy her (I'm a huge fan of those biscuits). I brought my lunch back to the office and lounged on the couch to eat (with the waist trainer on, mind you) because nothing is more glamorous or more Kylie than lounging on a white sofa in a waist trainer eating Popeyes.
Day 3: The Sold-Out Dress
Things I've learned about Kylie's lifestyle from wearing nails like hers: She does not button her own clothing or type on a keyboard because it's actually impossible to do either. She probably has great social skills, though, because she's forced to talk to people instead of texting them (it takes three minutes to write "hi"). The nails are great, however, for scratching your back and massaging your head while shampooing.
But getting back to day three...When Kylie Jenner wears a dress, it sells out fast. Luckily, the brand Houghton, which designed a dress Kylie wore on Instagram once, was able to send me a very similar version of it for my third outfit. I paired it with some thigh-high suede boots and sunglasses (like Kylie's, of course) and took some #OOTD mirror selfies as well as some "paparazzi" ones.
I loved this outfit because it was comfortable yet very "Kylie," and my coworkers seemed to really love this one too. I got a lot of feedback like, "OMG, Brooke," and, "Did you send a selfie to your boyfriend?"
I did. He said he didn't recognize me, but he liked the boots.
Day 4: Mint Green Hair
Posting pictures of myself as Kylie on my personal social media accounts was tricky. Since I rarely take selfies, I knew my friends and followers would suspect something was up. But in order for me to have the complete Kylie experience, I would need to get into 100 percent selfie mode.
The number of pictures of my face that I have on my phone right now is borderline shameful—except #NoShame because this is what I would imagine any young celeb's camera roll looks like. Besides, taking your photo when you have new hair and makeup on and feeling good about yourself is addictive! You should try it. Fair warning that it will be time-consuming though. A good chunk of my day was devoted to taking selfies and editing them with a few apps, one of those being Perfect 365, Kylie's fave photo editing tool. Normally I try to spend as little time as possible obsessing over the way I look in person and in photos. I enjoy living rather than taking pictures of my life. But when you're trying to get in the head of a celebrity like Kylie whose career relies so heavily on making her Instagram feed look amazing, it's easy to get caught up and spend more time getting the perfect photo.
For my fourth day of being Kylie, I decided to go green. Except that I couldn't actually find a wig that was the right shade of mint green, so I had the Cosmopolitan.com design team tint my hair with Photoshop instead. I then posted one of them on Twitter and asked my followers for feedback.
One follower commented, "channelin kylie," and another said, "Kylie Jenner experiment?" For the most part, they were fully aware of the look I was aiming for, which I consider a win.
I also tried recreating her outfit entirely. Fun fact: It took 67 tries to get this shot just right. All in a day's work.
Day 5: Giuseppe + Sushi
By this point, I was exhausted. It might sound like an easy job, but devoting a huge chunk of time and thought every day to your makeup, hair, and outfit, plus to taking the perfect photo, all while maintaining a full-time job, is not easy. Many times in my life, I've watched a celebrity on reality TV and said to myself, It seriously can't be that hard. Get over yourself. But there is something very emotionally draining about investing so much energy in the way you look and deliberately putting yourself out there for people to judge. I'm not even remotely a celebrity and the experience was really weighing on my self-esteem. Because I'd put so much thought into my appearance, I cared that much more about what others would think of the way I looked, and that is something I never usually do. I wondered if this is how Kylie feels on a regular basis, except times a million because there's so much pressure for women in entertainment to look good.
I am no quitter though, and neither is Kylie, so I laced up my Giuseppe heels (it took seven minutes to put the shoes on due the combination of my nails and the long shoelaces), took a picture (I later posted it on Instagram), and walked outside for my daily photo shoot.
My recreation of the image was pretty spot-on, I thought, but my Instagram followers were not fans of the photo. I usually get at least twice as many likes on a single post, but not this time. I understand why though. It is a picture of feet on office carpet, after all.
I was beginning to realize that although being a celebrity means you have unlimited access to the most amazing shoes, the life of a famous person is not always diamonds and rosé. Here I was, wearing heels that cost more than most people's rent, and I was feeling like I couldn't really enjoy the moment because of the sad social media response. It reminded me of that movie Richie Rich, where the main character doesn't have friends to join in on the fun of being really ridiculously wealthy (pretty sure Kylie was born after this movie came out and would have no idea what I'm talking about).
I put down my phone for a bit and had lunch. I grabbed sushi, a staple for Kylie, and ate outside with a friend. I'm convinced Kylie and I would be good food buddies in real life between our love for both sushi and fried chicken.
Day 6: Glam Team + Filming KUWTK
I decided on day six to have a makeup artist from beGlammed come in and put my face on for me. I was thrilled to pass the makeup brush baton and was also glad to not have another close call between my long fingernails and my cornea while gluing on false lashes. Kylie does her makeup often, yes, but she also keeps many different makeup artists on speed dial to come in and do tutorial videos with her for her website, so calling for backup felt true to Kylie. My makeup artist Anthony Green gave me the more natural glam look (I realize that's an oxymoron, just go with it) that Kylie is also known for, rather than the full-out look I'd been doing myself all week.
Next on my schedule was to film some Keeping Up With the Kardashians-style confessionals, so I switched into a crop top, bodycon skirt, and blonde wig (as Kylie, I needed to always keep people on their toes).
Then I jumped in a car and took a few Snapchats while listening to "$timulated" by Tyga, Kylie's man friend. Kylie isn't going to share a selfie on Snapchat that doesn't feel 100 percent Kylizzlemynizzl (her Snapchat handle), so I had to really get into character for this one.
I finished the day with an Instagram selfie of my blonde hair. The response from my friends was not a positive one. I can deduct two things from this: People don't like me with blonde hair, and they don't like selfies of me. I got a couple texts from friends that said, "YOUR HAIR," and, "ARE YOU BLONDE NOW." One of those friends also told me she was "perplexed" because of the combination of the hair, the pose, and the glasses. Very few people told me they liked it, which made me feel embarrassed for ever posting it. These people have no idea what I'm working on and I look stupid, I thought. Honestly, it's a relatively tame photo compared to what I could've put up, but it's clear that my followers and friends don't expect and don't approve of selfies and drastic hair changes from me. And as I sat there watching the likes and comments, I wondered if Kylie ever did the same.
Day 7: Fro-yo
I did not know that Kylie likes fro-yo, but the resident Kardashian/Jenner expert at Cosmopolitan.com, Mariah Smith, informed me that she in fact does. So on my last day as Kylie, I took a stroll to a nearby frozen yogurt shop. The employees showered me with coupons for free fro-yo, which could be something they do to every customer, but I took it to mean they thought I was someone important. Either way, it was a pretty good day.
At the end of the week, I decided living like Kylie was not really what I expected. I didn't become more popular on social media, and life wasn't easier just because I was living the life of a famous person. Being a female celebrity in 2015—at least the way I lived it—is hard. I've always liked Kylie, but I gained much more respect for her after witnessing (on a much smaller scale) how much emotional energy goes into leading a very public life and how vulnerable a single selfie can make you feel to the world.
I was happy to take off the itchy wigs and makeup, and have full access to my fingers again without the extra long nails, but I was also kind of sad to see them go. Dressing like Kylie for a week made me realize that I never take big chances with my style solely because I'm afraid of what others will say. When I took on this challenge, a part of me inside was excited to finally get to experiment with my hair and outfits while having work as an excuse to rely on if anyone confronted me about my new style choices.
I have to hand it to Kylie—she totally commits to being noncommittal with her look, and she pulls it off, so much so that she can sell out dresses and have people (besides just me) want to copy everything about her look. While I don't think I necessarily want to adopt all of Kylie's style choices, I felt inspired by the confidence she exudes to try new things more often, whether the response from others is good or bad. After all, life's too short to have the same hairstyle since ninth grade (true story).
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